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Borneo Rainforests & Villages Wildlife Safari Tour

Amazing Ecosystems & Comfortable Eco-Lodges


The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from lush rainforests to pristine beaches, and is home to a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. As you journey through Borneo on this unprecedented adventure, encounter orangutans, pygmy elephants, langurs, countless bird species, and more — and learn about their conservation efforts from your expert guides. Overnight in remote and luxurious eco-lodges, visit the Bajau Laut community, and take canopy walks through untouched Danum Valley. If you crave something new, head to Borneo!

11 Days

From: $10,195

The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from lush rainforests to pristine beaches, and is home to a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. As you journey through Borneo on this unprecedented adventure, encounter orangutans, pygmy elephants, langurs, countless bird species, and more — and learn about their conservation efforts from your expert guides. Overnight in remote and luxurious eco-lodges, visit the Bajau Laut community, and take canopy walks through untouched Danum Valley. If you crave something new, head to Borneo!

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Discover incredible rare and endangered wildlife, including the Bornean orangutan, in untouched old-growth rainforests

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Visit the Bajau Laut's famed stilt villages and learn about their fascinating semi-nomadic lifestyle

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Highlights


  • Discover incredible rare and endangered wildlife, including the Bornean orangutan, in untouched old-growth rainforests
  • Enjoy unique safari experiences at dawn and observe animals cooling off riverside at dusk
  • Visit the Bajau Laut's famed stilt villages and learn about their fascinating semi-nomadic lifestyle

Borneo Rainforests & Villages Wildlife Safari

Start: Sandakan, Malaysian Borneo  End: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Borneo

    Day 1

    Welcome to Sandakan, a bustling city in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo! The island is divided into three countries — Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia — but your visit will focus on Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Meet an MT Sobek representative at the airport and then transfer to the Sepilok Nature Resort, where you receive a brief orientation and a welcome dinner in the evening.

    Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Lodge

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Visit the Sepilok Forest Reserve

    Day 2

    Today begin by visiting the Sun Bear Center for a private tour with the project coordinator. Next head to the amazing facilities at Sepilok Forest Reserve and watch the morning feeding at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. After enjoying lunch back at the lodge, visit the Rainforest Discovery Center and learn about the rainforest ecosystem as you search for wildlife. Return to the lodge this evening for dinner and some relaxation.

    Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Kinabatangan River

    Day 3

    Take a boat journey to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a beautiful eco-resort offering a wide range of jungle activities. At 340 miles long, the Kinabatangan River has Borneo's highest concentration of fauna, enabling you to see some local residents, including orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver leaf langurs, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. After lunch, take a hike and then head out for a river cruise at dusk - the best way to view the amazing wildlife that comes down to the banks come evening. Later, take a walk in search of more nocturnal wildlife.

    Accommodation: Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort-Kinabatangan, Malaysia

    Transportation: 1.5-hour boat journey

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Cruise the Kinabatangan River at Dawn & Dusk

    Day 4

    Watch the sunrise during an early-morning river safari cruise. Back on land, stop in a local village where you are treated to a home-cooked breakfast and learn about the Orang Sungai's culture. Return to the lodge for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon away from the hot sun. At dusk, board a riverboat for a cruise to view more nocturnal wildlife while they are feeding.

    Accommodation: Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort-Kinabatangan, Malaysia

    Transportation: 2-3 hours river cruising in morning & 2-hours cruising in afternoon

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to the Beautiful Danum Valley

    Day 5

    En route to the Danum Valley today, stop to explore Gomantong Caves, the region's largest limestone outcropping and home to serpent eagles, kingfishers, and Asian fairy bluebirds. Take a short trek to the giant cave opening, where millions of bats and swiftlets roost, and spot orangutans and red leaf langurs in the surrounding area. Continue to the five-star lodge in Danum Valley, a protected swath of rainforest where 320 different species of trees are found in just two acres! This evening, head out for a night safari in search of hunting mammals in the open areas along the roads.

    Accommodation: Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

    Transportation: 5-hour boat and vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Walk Under the Rainforest Canopy

    Day 6

    Rise and shine! Wake up early this morning for a canopy walk before breakfast. For the remainder of the morning, explore the forest, looking for birds and primates from the many trails and canopy walks that radiate from the lodge. Around noon, join your guide for a spectacular hike to a nearby waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip in the rock pools. After dinner, take a night hike, exploring the forest and its nocturnal residents.

    Accommodation: Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

    Activity: 3-5 miles walking with 500' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Spot Wildlife & Swim in the Danum River

    Day 7

    Enjoy another relaxing day exploring this amazing forest and searching for orangutans, gibbons, and possibly a herd of elephants. Your trip leader guides you on walks through the forest and takes you for a refreshing swim in the Danum River.

    Accommodation: Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey from Danum Valley to Mataking Island

    Day 8

    After breakfast, depart Danum Valley early in the morning to Semporna Jetty for your island retreat to Mataking Island known for its sandy beach and coral reef. Check into the resort and enjoy lunch before spending the rest of the day relaxing or snorkeling.

    Accommodation: Mataking Reef Dive Resort

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer & 1-hour boat transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike Bohey Dulang

    Day 9

    Cruise to Bohey Dulang Island and take a brief but challenging hike up its peak, enjoying the tropical flora and perhaps spotting some of the island's bird life. As you reach the top (weather permitting) you'll get a breathtaking view of the bay formed by a volcanic crater. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the beach or snorkeling.

    Accommodation: Mataking Reef Dive Resort

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Fly to Kota Kinabalu

    Day 10

    Check out of the beautiful resort and depart Mataking Island to board the speedboat back to Semporna. From there, drive to Tawau Airport for your flight to the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu on the South China Sea. Upon arrival, transfer to the Jesselton Hotel, a modern and elegant accommodation reminiscent of the colonial era. The afternoon is free to relax or explore the city. Choose from visiting its vibrant markets, strolling along the boardwalk, or lounging on the beach. Gather with the group tonight for a festive farewell dinner.

    Accommodation: Jesselton Hotel-Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Accommodation: Luma Hotel

    Transportation: 1-hour boat transfer & 1-hour vehicle transfer & 1-hour flight transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Borneo

    Day 11

    After breakfast, bid farewell to Borneo and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.

    Meals: Breakfast

Why Travel With Us?


  • This trip uniquely combines wildlife viewing with an island visit for snorkeling, beach time and the Bajau Laut!

  • With expert guides leading the way, you'll enjoy the fun of a Kinabatangan River cruise and spot orangutans in the Danum Valley.

  • The day's pace is perfect, enjoying nature at dawn and dusk - its most active hours - with plenty of time to swim or rest in between.

Dates & Prices


  • 2024
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2024

Scheduled Dates


Price is per person, double occupancy in USD.

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.


Looking for a private family adventure?


This trip can accommodate guests with a
minimum age of 8.

Private Trip Pricing: 2024


4 to 5 guests from $8,850 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $8,650 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $8,450 per person double occupancy

10 guests from $8,150 per person double occupancy

Included Costs:

Internal Airfare: $155

*Seasonal rates may apply.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Take Over One of These Dates


Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Charlie R.

Charlie R.

Charlie's passion for outdoor adventure, traveling, and nature has been strong his entire life. Hawaii's lush jungles first caught his attention, Central America's rainforests broadened his horizons and, finally, he found Borneo. Well-rounded in the ecology of the Bornean rainforest, he is experienced with species identification of mammals, birds, amphibians, and snakes. He has strong leadership abilities and is comfortable in any situation. He is also certified in Wilderness First Aid and has a good understanding of wilderness survival. Charlie lives in Borneo, speaks Bahasa Malay, and has strong connections with people working to save this beautiful region.

Dean J.

Dean J.

Not many people can say they've introduced the royal couple to an orangutan and her baby, but Dean can! Fueled by a curious personality, with the jungle as his classroom, Dean started guiding in his late teens. From nature novice to jungle guru, Dean quickly excelled, which led him to win the esteemed Best Specialized Tour Guide award at The Sabah Tourism Awards in 2015. His knowledge and passion for the rainforest are contagious when traveling with him. Meet Dean on MT Sobek's Borneo adventures.

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Enjoy another relaxing day exploring this amazing forest and searching for orangutans, gibbons, and possibly a herd of elephants. Your trip leader guides you on walks through the forest and takes you for a refreshing swim in the Danum River.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 5.001595 [Longitude] => 117.791652 ) [7] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 8 [DayTo] => 8 [Headline] => Journey from Danum Valley to Mataking Island [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] => After breakfast, depart Danum Valley early in the morning to Semporna Jetty for your island retreat to Mataking Island known for its sandy beach and coral reef. Check into the resort and enjoy lunch before spending the rest of the day relaxing or snorkeling. [Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 4-hour private van transfer & 1-hour boat transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 4.57 [Longitude] => 118.949 ) [8] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 9 [DayTo] => 9 [Headline] => Hike Bohey Dulang [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] => Cruise to Bohey Dulang Island and take a brief but challenging hike up its peak, enjoying the tropical flora and perhaps spotting some of the island\'s bird life. As you reach the top (weather permitting) you\'ll get a breathtaking view of the bay formed by a volcanic crater. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the beach or snorkeling. [Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 4.578 [Longitude] => 118.949 ) [9] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 10 [DayTo] => 10 [Headline] => Fly to Kota Kinabalu [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Check out of the beautiful resort and depart Mataking Island to board the speedboat back to Semporna. From there, drive to Tawau Airport for your flight to the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu on the South China Sea. Upon arrival, transfer to the Jesselton Hotel, a modern and elegant accommodation reminiscent of the colonial era. The afternoon is free to relax or explore the city. Choose from visiting its vibrant markets, strolling along the boardwalk, or lounging on the beach. Gather with the group tonight for a festive farewell dinner.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 1-hour boat transfer & 1-hour vehicle transfer & 1-hour flight transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 5.980408 N [Longitude] => 116.073457 E ) [10] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 11 [DayTo] => 11 [Headline] => Depart from Borneo [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

After breakfast, bid farewell to Borneo and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 0 [Dinner] => 0 [Travel_Type] => [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 5.980408 N [Longitude] => 116.073457 E ) ) [ActivityHighlight] => You will enjoy leisurely walks every day of up to 5 miles through animal and nature reserves and virgin rainforest. There will also be opportunities to swim and snorkel. [Trip_Level] => 2 )

Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 2. You will enjoy leisurely walks every day of up to 5 miles through animal and nature reserves and virgin rainforest. There will also be opportunities to swim and snorkel.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 6

3-5 miles walking with 500' elevation gain

Accommodations


Remote and comfortable eco-lodges and eco-resorts, allowing you to access some of the most rare and endangered wildlife on the planet.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia
Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

Borneo Rainforest Lodge seamlessly combines the indoor with the outdoor, and the wild with the refined. Airy, open-beam common areas make for comfortable meeting places, while beautifully appointed guest rooms have modern amenities, outdoor soaking tubs, and balconies. Canopy walkways connect lodge to rainforest, where you can view an incredible variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, gibbons, and countless birds.

Jesselton Hotel-Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Jesselton Hotel-Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

The oldest hotel in Kota Kinabalu, the Jesselton is a colonial gem. Well-appointed guest rooms include WiFi and modern en-suite bathrooms, while elegant decor, excellent service, and a fine restaurant round out the experience. The Jesselton Hotel is conveniently located near most major attractions, with restaurants, shops, and the Sunday market all within walking distance.

Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort-Kinabatangan, Malaysia
Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort-Kinabatangan, Malaysia

Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is an organically constructed resort combining modern luxury with a beautiful location, built in the middle of a nature sanctuary. The surrounding wetlands have a tremendously rich ecosystem with a wide range of rare species. Boasting comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and great service, this jungle retreat is a modern pearl in the middle of an ageless forest.

Sepilok Nature Lodge
Sepilok Nature Lodge

Sepilok Nature Lodge is a luxurious outpost beside the world-renowned Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Wild orangutans reside in the backyard of this tranquil property, and the sounds of wildlife serenade guests day and night. Jungle bungalows combine beautiful organic architecture with high-end comforts. Enjoy tremendous service and comfort on the property while a rich wildlife experience lies mere steps away.

Luma Hotel
Luma Hotel

Located in Sabah's capital city, The Luma Hotel is Kota Kinabalu's first creative design hotel. Each room is nicely designed with modern furnishing and comfortable bedding, creating a cozy environment complimented by the use of natural materials and contours in the hotel's common areas. Unwind at the gym, or indulge in a tasty meal at Jojo Gastrobar, their rooftop dining hall and bar, after a day's adventure!

Mataking Reef Dive Resort
Mataking Reef Dive Resort
Escape to a pristine private island ringed in white sand and turquoise waters teeming with marine life. Tucked among swaying palm trees, Mataking Reef Resort is an enticing getaway with a spa and gym, turtle hatchery, and peacock sanctuary on site. Rooms, chalets, and villas with private sundecks and thoughtful amenities overlook colorful gardens or the blue ocean. Open-air dining is complemented by spectacular sea views.

Weather


Temperatures stay around 80F year round, with an average of 80% humidity. Expect quick changes in weather and be prepared for rain.

 
Jun
Jul
Aug
Danum Valley 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Danum Valley
95
75
92
72
94
74
Sandakan 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Sandakan
90
77
89
76
90
76

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

Our MT Sobek representative will meet you at the Sandakan International Airport.

Do I need a visa for Borneo?

No, American citizens do not need a visa for Malaysian Borneo.

How do I get to Sandakan?

Connect through Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. The main airlines that fly to Borneo from the U.S. are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia.

If I want to arrive early, should I stay an extra night in Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan?

We recommend flying into Kota Kinabalu, as there is more to do. You could then take a one-way flight to Sandakan to start the trip.

Do I need to bring leech socks and what are they?

Our guide will provide them for you. They are first line defense to fend off forest leech, a.k.a. little blood suckers.

What kind of wildlife will I see on this trip?

Although we cannot guarantee sightings, Borneo's rainforest is teeming with animals. You have very high chances to see orangutans, proboscis monkeys, langurs, macaques, hornbills, and much more.

Does this trip contribute to any local conservation efforts?

Yes! This trip helps support a local foundation that funds community projects in the village of Sayap. Palm oil is a main source of income in this area, which contributes to deforestation. The foundation's community projects provide skill training and jobs for locals to replace traditional palm oil plantations.

What is the minimum age for this trip?
The standard minimum age for this trip is 18, but check out our private trip options for families and groups with younger guests.

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